Skip to content
A man looking at limescale build up in a washing machine door seal.

How to Clean a Smelly Washing Machine

Are your clothes smelling musty even after a wash load? Does no amount of washing get rid of the smell? Sounds like you have a case of bad smell in washing machine. Not to worry, though. If you’re wondering “how can I clean my washing machine?”, help is at hand: simply read on for a few top tips on getting your machine back to its fresh-smelling self.  

Check the seal

The seal around your washing machine can be one of the worst culprits when bad smells strike, so if a bad smell in washing machine loads has been getting you down, the seal is an obvious place to look. Swipe around the fold with a dry rag and you’ll find soap scum and grime – not to mention hairbands and loose change, if you’ve been careless about emptying your pockets before putting things in the wash! You might even find mould growing in part of the seal. There are a few ways you can deal with this:

  • Make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water. Apply this to the mould patch and let it sit for about 15 minutes, then scrub it away with an old toothbrush.
  • Run a hot wash with a cup of vinegar in the detergent drawer.
  • Raid your local stores for mould and mildew spray. Be careful with this – it’s strong stuff and might degrade the rubber on your seal so always check the packaging first.

How to clean washing machines

Want to clean all of your washing machine, not just the door seal? Cleaning a washing machine is easy – you just need a pack of soda crystals and some white vinegar.

  1. Put half the bag of soda crystals in the detergent drawer.
  2. Run a hot wash on your machine while the drum is empty.
  3. Put a cup of vinegar in the detergent drawer and do the same thing again.

If you’ve been tearing your hair out over how to clean a smelly washing machine inside, this simple process could be the answer to your prayers! But this tip isn’t just for those wondering how to get rid a smelly washing machine. Most washing machine engineers recommend that you repeat the soda crystal boil wash regularly to keep the inside of your machine squeaky clean, and to get rid of the product build-up that can cause problems with the door seal.  

Give the detergent drawer a scrub

Most front-loading washing machines have a removable detergent drawer. If you’re wondering how to get rid of smells in a washing machine then it’s worth tackling this drawer as part of the process. Simply pop the drawer out (check the instruction manual if you’re not sure how) and give it a once-over with a scourer or an old toothbrush. Easy peasy!

There you have it – some simple tips on how to get rid of washing machine smell. Give your machine a new lease of life, and clean it regularly to keep it in top condition. It’ll not only help to keep the machine working for longer, but it’ll help keep your clothes fresh too. After all, no one wants to do their laundry in a dirty machine!